Local Catholics Pray for New Pope
Photo: Video by nbc26.com
GREEN BAY, WI--Catholics in northeast Wisconsin, say their goodbyes to Pope Benedict. There was a special mass in the pope's honor at Saint Francis Xavier Cathedral in Green Bay.
Bishop David Ricken of the Green Bay Diocese gave mass at St Francis Xavier Thursday morning. He says it's been a bittersweet day for Catholics all over the world and those at this ceremony say they're praying for the best successor.
A day to celebrate the legacy of Pope Benedict.
"He was a true leader, a humble man and a very theological person," said Shirley kagel of Green Bay.
But also time for a new leader.
"We're praying for a good holy pope too just like he was," said Mary Sturdzl of Green Bay.
Green Bay's Bishop David Ricken says Catholics should move forward in hope.
"That the holy spirit will bless all the cardinals gathered in conclave. That they will choose just the right person to be Benedict's successor," said Ricken.
This is the first time in 600 years that a pope steps down. Some Catholics say they're sad, losing Pope Benedict feels like a death. But it's also a time of unity.
"When things like this happen, Catholics sit up and take notice. Even non practicing Catholics" said religious studies professor Tom Bolin, at St Nortbert's College.
A day of mixed emotions for many Catholics.
"I'm really going to miss him I think he has been a great leader for the Church but it has also been a moment of hoping that the new leader picks right up where he left off and moves forward in a new way," said Ricken.
Now while Benedict gets to stay at the papal summer retreat, he will not get any special heads up about who is chosen as the successor. He will find out with the rest of the world.